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The eye-watering fee that would be required to pay Deontay Wilder to step aside and let Tyson Fury fight Anthony Joshua this summer has been revealed.
A massive roadblock to the heavyweight unification super-fight was put in place on Monday, after a US judge upheld Wilder's contractual right to meet Fury in a trilogy fight before 15 September.
Now Fury's UK promoter, Frank Warren, has put a number on the kind of "step-aside" fee Wilder would likely expect in order to waive his right and let Fury-Joshua take place: a cool $20 million (or £14 million).
Step-aside fees - where a fighter is sometimes paid millions of dollars to delay their contractual right to a fight - are nothing new in boxing. Lennox Lewis was paid $4 million to let Mike Tyson go ahead with a fight against Bruce Seldon in 1996, rather than enforcing his mandatory position.
However the pay-off estimated by the highly experienced Warren would dwarf anything that's come before, and are based on what Wilder might expect to earn for a third Fury contest.
"Until we can reach an accommodation with Deontay Wilder's people, I can't say that [Fury vs Joshua] will definitely happen," Warren said on BBC Radio 4, per the Metro.
"But we are working hard to get that over the line. We were talking last night and hopefully we can do that. If not then Tyson, if he wishes, will go to the fight with Wilder. They're the only two options...
"There is a cut-off point one when a decision has to be made and which direction Tyson goes in. I hope Deontay will accept less than $20 million."
Wilder's case stems from a rematch clause he had going into his February 2020 fight with Fury, which saw 'The Bronze Bomber' spectacularly dismantled and stopped.
The planned third fight was put on hold due to the coronavirus pandemic. However when Wilder's team allegedly failed to push the issue of the rematch ahead of the December 2020 deadline, Fury's camp believed the cause had expired, leaving them free to move on.
However now that an arbitration judge has found in Wilder's favour, the 35-year-old American apparently has a legal right to be Fury's next foe, ahead of Joshua.
So Fury's team face a tricky decision: take on Wilder this summer and hope that, if he wins, the all-British clash with Joshua can happen in the winter. Or offer Wilder a step-aside fee and take on Joshua next.
But if Warren's calculations are correct, it will take an eight-figure sum to make Wilder even think of getting in line behind AJ.
All imagery: PA Images
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